Parkinsons Disease Dementia Care Options
If your family member or friend has been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease dementia, the prospects can feel scary. You know they will eventually lose the ability to live independently. That time will require a difficult moment of moving them out of their home and into a community that can help care for them.
This moment can be liberating, however. With a high-quality, compassionate community, people with Parkinsons disease dementia can actually experience a higher quality of life. At The Brielle at Seaview, we offer a variety of dementia care and Parkinsons services designed with our dementia residents in mind. We will consider your family members Parkinsons and their dementia and address symptoms of both diseases with various services and therapies all designed to promote wellness and an enhanced quality of life.
Who Gets Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
No two cases of Parkinson’s are exactly alike, so it’s hard to say for sure who will develop Parkinson’s disease dementia and who will not. However, researchers have identified several factors that may increase a person’s risk for Parkinson’s disease dementia, including:
- Older age, especially at the time Parkinson’s symptoms began
- Being a man
- Advancing to late-stage Parkinson’s disease
- Experiencing visual hallucinations
Tip : Whatand Howyou Eat Can Make A Difference
Theres no specific Parkinsons disease diet, but by adjusting your eating habits, you can help protect your brain. Diets that are good for your heart tend to also be good for brain health. Eating habits such as those promoted in the Mediterranean diet can help reduce inflammation, protect neurons, and promote better communication between brain cells.
Primarily, its important to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, cut down on sugary foods and refined carbs, reduce fried and processed foods, and boost your intake of healthy fats and home-cooked meals. High protein meals may also help to benefit your brain chemistry.
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Parkinsons Disease Signs And Symptoms
The following are the primary symptoms of Parkinsons disease:
Hands, fingers, forearms, feet, mouth, and chin tremors or shaking. The tremor usually appears when your limbs are at rest rather than when they are moving. Some people notice that stress and excitement aggravate their tremors.
Sluggish movement . It is possible that your capacity to move freely and spontaneously has been hampered or impeded. Repetitive movements can be particularly challenging, causing difficulties with common chores such as buttoning a shirt, brushing your teeth, and cutting food. Your feet may begin to drag or you may begin to walk with small, shuffling movements.
Rigidity, often known as muscle stiffness, can affect any region of your body . This might restrict your range of motion and result in muscle pain that worsens as you move.
One of the most common symptoms of Parkinsons disease is poor balance, or the tendency to feel unsteady when standing erect. It occurs as a result of the lack of reflexes required to maintain posture. When standing or turning, some persons develop a tendency to sway backward, which can lead to reverse falls.
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Which Medications Can Make Confusion And Hallucinations Worse
As PD progresses, non-motor symptoms including psychosis and hallucinations become more prominent both for the patient and caregivers.9 Dopaminergic medication can exacerbate these symptoms and this can be reduced through a last in, first out approach. 27,28 Medications that have an anticholinergic effect also may cause or worsen acute confusion and the anticholinergic burden in the patients medication history should be considered.29
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Genetic Risks Of Parkinsons Disease
It is estimated that genetic factors primarily cause less than 10% of those living with Parkinsons Disease. The most common genetic factor is a mutation in a gene called LRRK2. This defect is most commonly found in North African or Jewish families.
Other mutations in alpha-synuclein have also been a trigger to Parkinsons Disease, but it is much rarer than LRRK2.
End Of Life Care Can Be A Difficult Topic To Discuss Do You Have Any Advice On Starting Or Having Conversations On This Subject
I agree, end of life discussions are not easy. We are often not used to thinking about death.
Conversations about end of life must respect patients readiness to discuss these delicate topics, step by step. There should be a choice to make, or not to make, decisions. After identifying care needs in a person with Parkinsons disease and providing suggestions for their management, healthcare professionals can share how the condition may progress when the patient is ready. This conversation might be about complications of late stages of the condition, and how specific palliative applications can help manage these problems.
Conversations might involve identifying the persons wishes about medical and non-medical aspects of end of life preferences for living at home or being cared for in a care home treatment preferences, including resuscitation wishes for the last moments of life and even funeral wishes. There might be a need to appoint a personal representative to the person with Parkinsons disease.
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Understanding How This Dementia Differs From Alzheimer’s Can Help Patients Know What To Expect And Feel Less Fearful
by Barbara Brody, AARP, April 6, 2021
En español | Many symptoms of Parkinson’s disease shuffling gait, quivering hands, stooped posture are easy to spot. But this disease can also cause problems that are far less visible but no less distressing. Perhaps the most worrisome is cognitive decline, which affects about 50 percent of patients.
“This is a scary, confusing and concerning topic for a lot of people, says neurologist Rachel Dolhun, M.D., senior vice president of medical communications at the Michael J. Fox Foundation. While these feelings are natural, common misconceptions can exacerbate patients fears.
For starters, cognitive decline doesn’t necessarily equal full-blown dementia, and many people with Parkinson’s develop only mild impairment. Another misconception is that even slight memory slippage signals that rapid deterioration is imminent but that’s far more common with Alzheimer’s disease than it is with Parkinson’s, says Tsao-Wei Liang, M.D., chief of the movement disorders division at Jefferson Health. It’s not always relentlessly progressive, and more often than not, symptoms can be managed with medication, caregiver support and basic organizational strategies, he says.
It’s also important to know that many Parkinson’s patients with some cognitive impairments are able to form new short-term memories, even if they struggle with attention and multitasking. People with Parkinson’s will often remember if you give a clue or prompt them, Dolhun says.
Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinsons
There are primary and secondary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Not everyone with the disease experiences all of the symptoms and the progression of the disease is different from person to person. Most people who get Parkinson’s are over 60, but there have been identified cases in younger men and women.
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These Are The Signs Of Parkinsons Related Dementia
Those with Parkinsons disease may eventually develop memory loss or a decline in thinking and reasoning skills.
Many families already grappling with the effects of Parkinsons disease on their loved one. They may not be aware of the signs of Parkinsons related dementia.
Understanding that memory loss due to Parkinsons may occur can help families determine the proper care options.
Learn how Parkinsons disease can lead to memory loss, the signs of Parkinsons related dementia, and how a memory care community can provide love and support.
How The Kensington Community Differs From Typical Senior Living
The Kensington Falls Church goes above and beyond what other traditional assisted living communities can offer.
We use a Positive Approach to Care , which is a person-centered approach to meeting the individual needs of those with dementia. Rather than focusing on what those with dementia have lost, we focus on what skills remain.
We also provide high acuity care, which ensures your loved one will get the medical care they need, no matter how their illness progresses. This allows them to truly age in place.
These care approaches, along with our on-site rehabilitation services and two memory care neighborhoods, ensure your loved one will have access to all the treatments and services that will preserve quality of life for as long as possible.
today to hear about our suites, floor plans, and care options. The Kensington Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. We are here to support you and your loved one every step of the way.
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Treatments For Parkinsons Disease Dementia And Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Treatments for DLB are similar to PDD and are aimed at symptom control. The motor symptoms of slowness, stiffness and walking difficulties can be treated with Levodopa. However, Levodopa can cause or exacerbate hallucinations, making it difficult to use it as a treatment for patients who have or are at risk of having hallucinations. Sometimes, clinicians will need to treat the hallucinations more aggressively in order for a patient to tolerate Levodopa given to help the motor symptoms. On the flipside, anti-psychotic medications to control hallucinations can worsen motor symptoms, so treating all the symptoms of LBD simultaneously can be a tricky balancing act.
How Many People With Parkinsons Disease Develop Dementia
The development of Parkinsons Disease Dementia depends on each case. A majority of those living with Parkinsons Disease will develop some cognitive impairment. Some other factors that play a role in the development of Dementia are:
- How long have you had Parkinsons Disease?
- What Stage of Parkinsons are you in?
About 20-30% of those with Parkinsons Disease will not develop Dementia as their Parkinsons progresses.
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Lewy Body Dementia Research
Many avenues of research are being explored to improve our understanding of LBD. Some researchers are working to identify the specific differences in the brain between the two types of LBD. Others are looking at the disease’s underlying biology, genetics, and environmental risk factors. Still other scientists are trying to identify biomarkers , improve screening tests to aid diagnosis, and research new treatments.
Scientists hope that new knowledge about LBD will one day lead to more effective treatments and even ways to cure and prevent the disorder. Until then, researchers need volunteers with and without LBD for clinical studies.
NIH and other groups help people learn about clinical trials and studies and find research opportunities near them. Visit the following websites for details:
What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease
There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinsons.
It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinsons disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinsons. If you suspect Parkinsons, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.
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Coping With Dietary Problems
Many people with Parkinsons experience various eating and dietary problems, such as constipation, chewing and swallowing difficulties, and upset stomach. The following tips can help you minimize the symptoms.
If you suffer from constipation Drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich foods, including beans, brown rice, whole grains, and fruit.
If you have trouble chewing or swallowing food Cut foods into smaller portions to avoid choking and to encourage digestion, and remain upright for 30 minutes after eating.
If youre struggling with fatigueLimit the amount of sugar youre eating. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially before bed, as they can reduce the quality of your sleep.
If you take levodopa Dont eat meat or other protein-rich foods for at least 30-60 minutes after taking levodopa, as protein blocks your bodys ability to absorb the medication.
If your medication gives you an upset stomach Take your medication with a full glass of water and a small non-protein based snack, such as a piece of toast or fruit.
Some Parkinsons disease medications need to be taken promptly at specified times before or after eating, so it can also help to establish a regular routine for meal and medication times.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease Dementia
Doctors don’t yet know the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease dementia, but they think it has to do with an accumulation of a protein called alpha-synuclein. When it builds up in the brain, it can create clumps called “Lewy bodies” in nerve cells, causing them to die.
The death of those cells usually results in the motor symptoms typically associated with Parkinson’s disease. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, those Lewy bodies may eventually damage the brain and cause problems with memory and thinking.
While many people with Parkinson’s disease experience cognitive changes, not all of them will go on to develop dementia. It’s estimated that between 50% and 80% of individuals with the disease eventually develop Parkinson’s disease dementia, usually in the later stages of the disease.
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Discuss With Your Physician
Non-motor symptoms can sometimes be difficult to recognize. Therefore, it is important to make your doctor aware of them.
One useful resource is the PD NMS Questionnaire. You can use this to record your symptoms and discuss them with your doctor.
Dr. Ron Postuma, whose research was funded by donations to the Parkinson Canada Research Program, has also developed tools to help people with Parkinsons and their physicians identify and manage non-motor symptoms.
Managing Depression In Parkinsons Disease
People with Parkinsons, family members and caregivers may not always recognize the signs of depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing depression as a symptom of Parkinsons, it is important to know it can be treated.
Here are some suggestions:
- For information and support on living well with Parkinsons disease, contact our Information and Referral line.
- As much as possible, remain socially engaged and physically active. Resist the urge to isolate yourself.
- You may want to consult a psychologist and there are medications that help relieve depression in people with Parkinsons, including nortriptyline and citalopram .
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Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited
Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.
There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.
Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.
Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.
A Guide To Understanding End
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care created guidelines to help family caregivers better understand the physical changes of the end-of-life process, as well as the emotional and spiritual end-of-life changes taking place.
The following describes the physical symptoms you may observe. Here are end-of-life signs and helpful tips:
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How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards
- Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
- Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
- Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
- Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
- Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.